In July, David Parry brought Elchin's play Citizens Of Hell
to the UK; this modest three-actor production (cut down from six) premiered at the Theatro Technis
, a small community theatre in North London. This humble beginning was also the western and indeed the English language premiere of this particular play, whose author if known at all to most of the Western elite will be associated with politics rather than plays.
Elchin Ilyas Oglu Afandiyev is not only a playwright and a time-serving academic, but currently Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan. He is also to Parry what Shakespeare is to David Tennant, the difference being Parry has no more desire to play Hamlet than Dr Who, being content to assemble Elchin's work in his role as producer. His enthusiasm appears to be paying off as the next episode of the Elchin chronicles will take place in Madrid next year with Parry's production of Telescope
. In the meantime he has another important Elchin-unrelated project to produce, the First International Conference on the Nephilim and Crystal Skulls
, what he calls "an exploration of DaDa related Art, no matter how others interpret such artefacts".
The photographs below were taken during a recent visit to the Azerbaijani capital where Parry attended the 3rd Baku International Humanitarian Forum
. His short presentation was called Topical Issues of Mass Media in the Globalizing Information Network
Fascinating though that may have been, more important was meeting the great man himself, and according to Parry: "My next production for Elchin will be his comedy Telescope
; he is insisting I direct."
This will be Parry's third Elchin production; the first was "Shakespeare: A Comedy In Ten Scenes Both Serious And Tragic
in 2011 [which] marked the first occasion anyone had staged his work in the West."
Parry describes Telescope
as "A surreal romp."
What is it about? Well, Citizens Of Hell
saw the Devil incarnate visiting two of his unwitting servants in their apartment; Telescope
goes to the other extreme and sees people looking down from Heaven to see what their former friends and enemies are saying about them, with some surprising results.
One thing that will surprise no one who knows Parry will be his producing another Elchin play and another and another. Alan Bennett
had better watch out!